I was running around my house in a black one piece bathing suit and remember looking down at my stomach, thinking that it stuck out too much.
Friends asked me what it was like dating someone who is black and giggled asking if it was true about “what they say about size.” One friend admitted “I could never date a black guy because I wouldn’t be able to understand what he was saying.” All stereotypes I had been used to hearing about this unchartered territory.
When my relationship eventually ended, the phrase “once you go black, you never go back” rang in my ears.
The most significant difference among them is that this Rochester belongs to a New England state that is listed in bold when you Google “Least diverse state.” If you flip through my year book from senior year, you will count 3 black students in my class, only one of them being male.
Although New Hampshire is over 94% “white alone”, (and zero percent Native American) my high school proudly flaunts the Red Raider mascot, a stereotypical Native American with a face tinted blood red (Census Bureau, 2014).
All it took was one semester for me to breakup with my high school boyfriend and fall completely in love with a guy from my dorm. I called my mother up to tell her about my new boyfriend, and nervously came clean with the statement “I’m Seeing Someone New And He’s Black!
” Though I knew my parents wouldn’t care, wouldn’t forbid be from seeing him, or treat him differently than my past boyfriends, the fact that I felt the need to admit he was black, as if it were a crime is absurd.This was the place I was born and raised; where nobody had to whisper the “n word” or hesitate to stick some feathers in their hair and paint their skin red as a sign of school spirit.Growing up in New Hampshire didn’t prevent me from making friends or dating guys who weren’t white.While some people smiled at us as we held hands in D. or walked side by side around the Inner Harbor, others just stared with disapproving eyes.The thing is, people were tolerant, but they were not always accepting.He showed me new music, food, and gave me a new perspective to consider.